It was easy, just pull the cart along Park Street, the High Street and Laburnum Avenue and then to the Town Hall. Very slowly, Nottingham did not do fast, he had very short legs.
The streets were full of fools, they drank, they juggled, they swallowed swords, they swallowed fire, they danced, they sang, they drummed. It was “All Fools Day”.
The band played a march, Princess Anna the Thirteenth and Prince John the Hundred and Sixty-Ninth mounted the steps, the Fools National Guard stood to attention, and the Carnival Princess and Prince entered the Great Chamber in the Town Hall where they were greeted by the Mayor of Bigtown.
Mrs Pearson and the Mayor had invited many rich and boring people to a charity-giving reception. There was much talking, eating and drinking to be done. Mrs Pearson knew everybody and was bored, Mrs Tinge knew nobody other than the Mayor and he was boring too.
Suddenly the band played a march, the soldiers crashed their rifles to the ground and in danced the Boff. The Mayor greeted her and took her clothes. It was Betty, it was Betty in a tutu.
She swept around in circles, everybody stood back, she made space for herself and she danced. Dancing is what she mostly did and she was good at it. Ten minutes of dance, applause and an encore.
A waiter brought her a large beer and she downed it. Betty being there cheered up Mrs Tinge, especially when Betty grabbed her hand.
What was wrong? Betty was very strong and could crush hands and feet, but she would never hurt Mrs Tinge, would she?
Mrs Tinge realised that something big was happening inside her, a large washing machine being tipped over in her head, everything was clearer.
It was not enough that she, Mrs Fiona Ismeralda Tinge, was the best fitter of underwear in Bigtown and possibly in the whole country.
It was not enough that she, Mrs Fiona Ismeralda Tinge, had married Mrs Pearson.
It was not enough that she, Mrs Fiona Ismeralda Tinge, had complete control of Mrs Pearson.
What was true, was that she was Mrs Fiona Ismeralda Tinge and that she knew that Mrs Pearson was part of her life and would always be part of her life.
What was true, was that Mrs Pearson loved her and she knew it.
The uncertainty floated away from Mrs Tinge and she was free. She said in a quiet voice to Mrs Pearson. “Let's get the hell out of here!”
Mrs Pearson roared “We came in the ship of fools through the sea of fools to this safe harbour.”
Mrs Tinge roared “We go in the ship of fools through the sea of fools to a safe harbour on the other side.”
Nobody understood these words. Princess Anna the Thirteenth and Prince John the Hundred and Sixty-Ninth thanked the Mayor, strode across the Great Chamber and through the big double doors. The band played a march, the Princess and the Prince descended the steps and entered their coach.
Nottingham took them twice around the Town Square in front of the Town Hall. He trotted, he was happy and a wee bit faster, along Park Street, the High Street and Laburnum Avenue to the front lawn at home.
Lettie had finished her work in the back garden and moved around to the front. There was a horse and cart eating the grass. Try again. The horse was eating the grass. What can you do with a horse and cart?
Lettie had a good think, she got into the cart and took the reins. Off went Nottingham, back to Park Street, the High Street and Laburnum Avenue. The fools were still there, hundreds of them.
Nottingham thought that they were doing strange things, especially the guy with fire in his mouth. He turned his head to see Lettie, she was very strange too. Perhaps he was strange, he was probably one of them too.
Mrs Tinge and Mrs Pearson had removed their carnival costumes and were having fun on the sofa. Mrs Tinge did exactly what she liked with Mrs Pearson, she was feeling good, Mrs Pearson was happy.
Mrs Pearson sat on the remote control unit and the TV showed the fools celebrating in the middle of Bigtown.
“Hey, that's Nottingham and the Cart.” “And that's Lettie in the cart.” “What a laugh, Lettie in a horse-drawn cart in the middle of town.” “She's been a bit more with it since Betty fitted her with a human awareness module and a humour module.”
Mrs Tinge stopped, she realised that Lettie was not the only one that Betty had helped.
Mrs Pearson wrapped herself around Mrs Tinge, Mrs Pearson said nothing, Mrs Tinge said nothing, Mrs Tinge did not cry.